This is Elie Kedourie's classic study of the Middle East in modern times. In analyzing British failures in the region during the zenith of their power and influence, Mr. Kedourie attributes much of Britain's faulty and disastrous handling of Middle East problems to what he calls "the Chatham House version." It was a view of Middle Eastern history and politics propounded and propagated in the various publications of the Royal Institute of International Affairs (known popularly as Chatham House), written or edited by Arnold Toynbee. The episodes that Mr. Kedourie investigates show "successive and cumulative manifestations of illusion, misjudgment, maladroitness, and failure." Together they point up hard lessons for the Bush administration or any outside power that would intervene in Middle Eastern affairs.
"No better guide...can be found to the pitfalls awaiting those who seek to control the Middle East to their own advantage."―Asian Affairs
"These twelve studies in the modern history of the Middle East [form] the most learned book, the most demanding therefore of rethinking, that has come out on the Middle East for many years, and anyone who in the future writes on any Middle Eastern subject, from any point of view, without consulting it, will do so at his or her grave peril."―London Telegraph